16 January 2006
I spend a lot of time contemplating the kind of environment i create for Cosmo. I think less about how "stimulating" it is--i feel confident that there will be enough stimulation in everyday life, and in everyday objects. he has plenty of those brightly colored, busy-patterned toys, and i am sure he will receive more of them as gifts. i've noticed that babies and children enjoy ordinary tools like measuring cups and keys as much as the well designed "infantstim" toys.
what i think about more than stimulation is something i will call "object memory." i have very distinct memories about the things that were in our home growing up. familiar sights, textures, sounds...the quality of the objects remain very vivid in my mind. when i look at photographs from my childhood, i search the context--the furnishings, clothes, rugs and wall paper-- and i recall the feeling of the place and the events that happened there.
so i wonder about the environment that i create, and what elements of it will Cosmo hold in his memory? what kinds of associations will he make with the objects he is surrounded by? i consider the texture of the rug in the living room...the scratches on the arm of the futon frame, and the stories behind them (fire and palm tree construction...)
will he remember pepe, the fiesta sign parrot on the wall in the dining room? of course, everything he takes in now will not remain in his conscious memory...but it will exist in his implicit memory...and which is more important?